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Northern Ireland diary firm to benefit from UK-China deal

Northern Ireland diary firm to benefit from UK-China deal

August 29, 2018

One of Northern Ireland’s largest diary companies is set to benefit from a deal signed on 24th August between the UK and China.

International Trade Secretary Dr Liam Fox MP met with China’s General Administration of Customs to reach an agreement which would allow the import of UK dairy products made with milk from third countries. The agreement is estimated to be worth £240 million over 5 years to the UK.

Announcing the deal, Dr Fox said: “It is very important for Northern Ireland where milk is often sourced from south of the border. We estimate this could be worth a quarter of a billion pounds for the first five years.

“Lakeland Dairies is a very large employer in Northern Ireland and will likely be the main beneficiary of this deal. It is very good news indeed.”

The agreement is said to increase flexibility in the supply chain, meaning producers in Northern Ireland, for example, can export products made using milk from across the border.

Dr Fox announced the deal whilst in China, where he is attending a meeting of the UK-China Joint Economic and Trade Commission (JETCO) in Beijing.

This deal means that producers will have increased flexibility on sourcing the dairy they use for their products.

The UK government is determined to open up agricultural opportunities to British businesses, and today’s announcement follows the Chancellor’s visit to China where he announced a lifting of a two-decades long ban on beef. The deal was expected to be worth £250 million.

International Trade Secretary Dr Liam Fox MP said:

This is my fourth visit to China this year and I’m delighted to see the completion of this deal, bringing significant benefits to dairy producers across the UK at a time when British food and drink exports are at a record high.

China is the UK’s fifth largest trading partner, with exports growing by 28.5% in 2017 when compared with the previous year.

As an international economic department, DIT is working with our partners across the world to liberalise international trade by removing barriers to commerce, helping businesses and ensuring greater choice for consumers worldwide. Today’s announcement will boost our £67.5 billion trading relationship even further.